NOTICE: This post consists of Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter Reviews for Chapters 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 – not just Chapter 8. In order to see all of them, please continue to scroll down.
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 8 Thoughts
Ruth is very good at asking questions that I wouldn’t think to ask, but should. Such as, “What method would God use in salvaging the wreckage wrought in humanity? Would He try to repair… or would He replace it…? Would He reestablish… or would He inaugurate…?”
It only makes sense that since it was a man who caused the ruin of mankind by disobedience – it would have to be a man who would save mankind through obedience. It couldn’t be a bull or a goat or an angel. But all men became sinners through the first Adam, so God would become man and as the last Adam, He would redeem all of mankind.
So man would be redeemed through a Man. But Jesus was not a man who became God. Jesus has always been God and He became a man. He had to become a mediator that both God and man would trust in order to bring about reconciliation between the two.
I have never really thought about this deeply. When I think of Jesus, I tend to start with the fact that He was born a baby, even though I know He has always been and will always be God. I give Him a beginning of man.
It is easy to see how Jesus could be a Mediator that God would trust as He was tested and found to be totally obedient to God; sin free. (God put Himself to the test, but obviously not to prove Himself to Himself, but to prove Himself to us). But how could man trust Him to represent mankind? How could Jesus relate and be like man? I don’t think I could honestly say that I would even ever dare ask this question. I mean, what if He can’t represent me? Then all my hope is for nothing! The honest answer to this question means everything to me! I’m so glad God found Jesus worthy and raised Him from the grave!!!! Hallelujah!
I love the answer from so many Scriptures: Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 2:10, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Corinthians 15:47, John 1:1-2, John 1:14, and Hebrews 2:9 – “The Eternal Son of God became the Incarnate Son of Man…”. “Heaven came to earth.”
He became one with us and He became part of our flesh and blood. Hebrews 2:11 and 2:14 and 2:17-18.
But how did God do this? The Scriptures again tell us over and over again: He was born just like you and me! It was and is the miracle of miracles and mystery of mysteries!!
Do I really believe this happened? That God became a man? Yes, I really do and this too is a miracle of miracles and mystery of mysteries, and this too is of God!
“The Godhead and the Manhood were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very Man.” – Outlines of Christian Doctrine, by H.C.G. Moule, p.57. This is another wonderful truth to meditate on.
God prepared a body for Jesus, and Jesus humbled Himself and partook of this human body. He endured every conceivable suffering and died on the cross a condemned criminal.
He did this to become sinful mankind’s Savior. He represented God and He represented man. In this way He reconciled sinful man with a Holy God! This is truly amazing!
I know I have said it so many times before, but I love this book!! I was talking to a gentleman the other day who is also reading this book. I had given it to his wife years ago to read and he found it on the shelf and began reading it. He said it has changed his life!!
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 7 Thoughts
Right away I am seeing God’s love from a whole new perspective than how God’s love is examined these days by any believer . We don’t even think to go back to Genesis to see God’s love from this perspective. But why? To think that God’s love is so great that not even the ultimate sin of rejection of God can begin to quench His great love is worth meditating on for a life time! The fact that God could never cast away a sinner and still be considered love is so amazing. And yet, this amazing love of God must be balanced out with the fact that He is holy, especially when it has to deal with man’s sin.
Wow! I’ve never looked at the problem of sin from God’s perspective in this way before. As a mom, I know to a very small degree what it feels like to have to deal with one of my kid’s sin – it must be stopped and brought under the scrutiny of God’s Word and the child must be given time alone to think about their sin and decide whether to repent or not. Yet, I must open my arms and bid him/her to come to be loved as well. Right now the amazing grace of 1 John 1:9 is coming to mind:
“If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins, and to cleanse you from all righteousness.”
We don’t even understand how huge this verse is to us as Christians! Praise the Lord! To be able to come before my holy Creator, confessing of my sin, and He forgiving my sin instead of condemning it and then cleansing me instead of sending me away from His presence forever! Amazing Grace, truly!
I have another thought at this point: The sin of Lucifer did separate him forever from God – his sin was condemned and he was cast down to earth, away from God. I see that Jesus did not come to save the angels – He came in the body of a man (in the likeness of man) to offer that human body as a sacrifice for man only. He did not come in an angelic body, so therefore could not be a sacrifice for the angels. At the time of Lucifer’s sin, did God look to the cross for a sacrifice and find nothing acceptable? So, then Lucifer’s sin was condemned and he was cast away from God? Just a thought…
At this point, I’m seeing God the Father as the holiness and God the Son as the love. God the Father looked on Lucifer from all holiness and condemned his sin, there was no sacrifice from God the Son on Lucifer’s behalf, so there was no love to bid him come??? I don’t know why I’m thinking on this so much – it’s just interesting. Sorry, if I’m not making sense J Just thinking it through.
Isn’t it so amazing to consider Jesus’ crucifixion before the foundations of the earth? Then to be promised in Genesis and then realized by man at the cross. The work of Jesus at the cross truly is timeless – and amazing that man can still look back to the cross today and be saved by faith in Jesus! Amazing! Amazing! Seriously, what if it were a one-time event – offered only to the ones who witnessed it. And we say, “It was a one-time event”, but God adds to that statement and says, “Offered to all men, for all time from before the foundations of the earth until He comes again in the clouds!” WOW!
Thank You Father for thinking of everything! You do so love us! Amen!
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 6 Thoughts
This really is one of my most favorite chapters in this book! The reason being is that it deals with a real problem we have today, one that some call “easy believism”. Having said that, this is really one of my most hated chapters in this book. It sparks a fire in me that wants to burn out of control! Therefore, I apologize beforehand of the many words that can pour out of my heart. I will try to keep it brief!
It only stands to reason, if we clearly understand the state of the unredeemed, that there must be a consciousness of one’s personal sin before there can even be a desire to be saved. Without knowing how truly lost we are or having a glimpse of the wretchedness within, we will not see our need for a Savior – that will all be foolishness to us. I personally believe this is why God first draws us to His Son – It’s there before the Spotless Lamb, that we can see the stark contrast between good and evil – it’s there with our own selves being contrasted with that of Jesus Christ Himself, we can see how wretched we truly are and how desperately we need Him!
Secondly, our response to that contrast: Some cry “What must I do to be saved?!!!” – while some spit in the Spotless Lamb’s face… I want to say here that the spitting can come in different forms. There are those who are vile and unashamed in their pride and arrogance and quick to reject Jesus Christ as their Savior and who are even unashamed to let everyone know. But there are those who are vile inwardly and come up with their own way by which to be saved and they set to “work” to do their own form of spitting in His face – In the church I believe, these are the most destructive. They continually bring their own form of heresy to the altar to be approved before a silent God (this is their hope). But our God is not fooled as we can be. He looks on the heart, while we continue to look on the outward appearance and slowly get caught up in the “ABCs” of salvation. O how sad as we lead our own children down this path! It is so much easier to just skip the question, “What must I do to be saved?” with the emphasis being on “saved” to “What must I do to be saved?” with the emphasis on “I do”. Ok – I’m done ranting.
I like her questions: “What can a bond-slave do to free himself?…” and everything said on pages 116 & 117 regarding this. The last paragraph on page 117 begins to deal with humanism in its finest. We take the place of God and decide what is acceptable and not and the second paragraph of page 118 sums it up perfectly!
I wonder if this is why we have so many within the church who struggle with knowing whether they are saved or not? I have been thankful for the advice of Kay Arthur, who reminded us as Precept leaders to not tell someone who says they do not feel saved, they are saved. This has to be the work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of man! God’s Word says clearly in Romans 8:16-17 that “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him.” Is the Holy Spirit taking a break when it comes to His job of bearing witness to Christians? I don’t think so.
This summer has been one of God continually reminding me that my faith in Jesus Christ and His work is HUGE! He keeps bringing me back again and again to just have faith in the work of Jesus on the cross. It is His Righteousness, it His Blood, it is His Everything that I need – nothing of me will do – EVER!
O LORD Jesus! I humbly surrender myself to You and all You have done on my behalf. Help me to teach my children to do the same! It is You that we need – nothing else will do! Please don’t stop reminding me of this simple truth.
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 5 Thoughts
This is a wonderful Chapter in so many ways! It’s hard to read the facts of our enemy and spend so much time thinking of his wicked ways – however, God makes it clear that it’s so important for us to understand and anticipate the schemes of this one who tries to usurp God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our lives every day.
I looked up the word abstraction for a clear definition: it is the act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances.
I’m trying to take time here to really understand what is being said on pages 85 and 86. Thinking: We are born in sin – Adam’s sin has spread to all of mankind. However, when we lie, or whatever other sin we may commit, it is coming from the father of that action of sin – the devil…
Likewise, when we commit an act of love or kindness – it is coming from the only One who is good – that is God…
I have always understood the Bible in this way. However, so often I hear Godly people say that our sinful flesh actions are sometimes a result of our own heart’s desires and should not be blamed on the devil (as if we are giving him too much credit – or not putting enough blame on ourselves)??? Interesting. I’m going to have to spend a little more time thinking on this – I know that I lean toward being very literal and black and white, so that’s probably what I’m doing here. Maybe you have some thoughts that can help clear this up for me.. Let me know.
I love the paragraphs in this chapter that remind us of Victory in Jesus! Such as: “On the threshold of divine revelation we read the prophecy of a conflict between satan and God and every page from that on is but an unfolding of its progress toward its divinely appointed end, the ultimate and absolute defeat of satan, the eternal and perfect victory of God.” P. 89
The discussion on the two kingdoms that exist now reminds me of what I tell my kids often. We are so blessed to be children of God’s marvelous light. At this time in history, God allows us to take that Light into the kingdom of darkness (this world) and partake of it in moderation. However, there will come a time (seen in Revelation), when those who are left on this earth will not be able to partake of that kingdom accept they have the mark of the beast. They will not even be allowed to purchase food without that mark! We are to hold onto the things of this cursed world lightly. We are not to be friends with it. There are so many warnings God gives us in His Word to not get grossly involved with this world, this kingdom of darkness – we cannot be His friend if we do. This is hard! My son is seeing how hard this is as he has been given the gift of understanding music so beautifully. His desire to teach music theory someday has opened his eyes to the evil that lurks in the world of the arts. There is a very thick darkness there – but God has allowed us to go in and bring the light of Christ – this takes a steadfast faith!
I wrote on 11/2/2010 in the margin of page 94 (description of the two rivers) – This is why it is so important for children of God to partake in the things of God constantly and to great abundance. The truth of the Word of God must be consumed daily so our outflow is that of God and not of the world in which we live (the kingdom of darkness). Many have been deceived to believe they can partake of this world and not be polluted, but they have become enemies of God!
Pages 96 to 99 are my favorite of this book! I love these pages and could and have read them over and over. Nothing and no one can thwart the plan of our God – Hallelujah! Amen!
Another thing that is necessary to read over and over, because I tend to forget, is that looking for the evil or the bad to flee from it – doesn’t always work, since our enemy can come dressed as an angel of light! Ugh! This makes me cry out “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”
I cannot wait for us to be able to see the Church and the world totally separated – they can look so much alike sometimes – divorces, abused children, addictions, foul language, immorality, no virtues – This makes me cry out in sickness – we so desperately need our Lord Jesus every minute!
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 4 Thoughts
Right away this chapter reminds me of how much Christ has done for us and how careful we must be to be grateful every day. Jesus has released us from a bondage that we had no way to release ourselves from.
Also, it helps me to understand Paul’s heart a little better in Romans 6:
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ro 6:1–Ro 7). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Sorry to bring the whole chapter 6 of Romans into my notes, but as I read through it – it was overwhelming to be reminded what power sin once had over my life, and yet my Sweet Jesus in all His glory and power has set me free – why do I even waste a moment in sin – giving into it, when I clearly have power over it once for all? Oh Lord! How I long for You to come and put this body of death to rest that I might live in Eternity with You! Come Lord, Come!
The description of sin causing civil war within the human personality and the spirit of man becoming a death chamber closed off to God is so sad, but so accurate…
She then says man now “…had the knowledge of evil but he had neither the wisdom nor the power to resist it.” It is so important that we remember this as we share the Gospel and lead other’s by the Holy Spirit to Jesus. I often find myself wondering how deep in sin people are willing to go these days – it seems unstoppable. Then I remember, they have no wisdom nor power to resist it – It’s not their choice of how far into sin they go – they are slaves.
All thoughts of man without Christ are truly materialistic, sensual and rationalistic. This is so true and there is no wisdom of God within them to help them to stop thinking along these lines. Only through faith in Christ can this curse be broken, only through Him can we think about things with the mind of Christ. Only through Him can we understand the Scriptures, without Him we declare the Scriptures foolish.
I think page 76 makes me most happy in this whole chapter J “To will to do God’s will is man’s highest privilege, his most Godlike prerogative. To live wholly within the will of God is to have righteousness, peace and harmony reign everywhere.” This is where I stop to pray – O Lord, I want Your will in my life. Take my will and let it be wholly consecrated Lord to Thee… I wrote in the margin on this page – “Do we really believe this is our highest privilege, our most Godlike prerogative? This is a place to meditate.
So now we come to pages 78 through 82 where the spiritual warfare begins. In times past when I have attempted to read this book with others, we have not made it past this point. May you and I press on! And I want to say, “Thank you”, again Sally for reading this wonderful book with me – there are such gems to behold as we continue.
In the margin on page 79, I have written, “O Lord!” when I get to this point in this book, the warfare begins! I’m overwhelmed Lord! Help me to repent and keep moving through the pages.
Page 81 says, “God is light, sin is darkenss; therefore God must displace sin or sin displaces God. God and sin cannot stay in the same place at the same time for they are mutually exclusive.”
Page 83 beginning at the 3rd paragraph down to the end of this chapter is overwhelming once again. We must line our thinking up with what God says about sin and we must feel about sin the same way God does. Overwhelming! I have so many more thoughts on this chapter – I may spend more time in it and send more later.
I can hear the words of John the Baptist, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 3:11–12). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 3 Thoughts
On page 41 in the margin I have a note from the very first time I read this book titled – “My Honest Question”: Where does hopeless, sinful man without any good in him get the power to accept the free gift of eternal life?
I remember this being such a huge question for the first time in my walk with the Lord! I remembered struggling off and on with the surety of my own salvation. “How did I know for sure that I was saved?”, came to mind often. This question was one that constantly hung over my soul. It caused me much grief – I simply did not have an answer, until I began to see it here on these pages – straight from the Scriptures – in particularly, Ephesians.
Now, there are other notes on this same page in the margin, such as: 1) To accept eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ opens the way to live life on the highest plane here on earth; 2) Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to Myself.” He draws us, the Father draws us – all of us. However, not all will choose Him; 3)The Father draws us, woos us, receives us – He is full of Grace, Love and Patience! Thank You LORD!; 4) This is Grace! O Father, You truly saved me! I cannot boast in my salvation because I had nothing to do with it! You alone are to be praised!
At this point, I realized how my faith must kick into full gear: This was my revelation: “I must read the Scriptures every day and I must choose to believe EVERYTHING God says – whether I feel it or not, because He is faithful, even when I am not, He cannot deny Himself!” , and right away my faith was put to a test. I had a whole summer of not being able to truly sense the presence of God in my life, as I had up to that point. How did I get through? In my mind and my heart, I kept praying back to God, Whom I felt had deserted me,”You are faithful! You will not leave me, nor forsake me!”. I didn’t quit, and I focused my whole faith on these three truths and I came through stronger in my faith, than when I had begun the test. I believe the key was that I did not lean on my own understanding (or my feelings which were VERY strong), but in all my ways I acknowledged God and He kept my path straight. At this point, “All my ways”, were the three simple truths about God – it was all I could bring myself to believe at that point.
One thing that I believe to be a huge factor in the survival of this summer-long test was the fact that I did not try to convince myself that I was saved – or a sort of positive thinking. I leaned wholly on the three truths that God is faithful, God will not leave me, God will not forsake me – these were my only anchor during that time. The plain Scripture, nothing more. – I have nothing to teach here, I simply want to share my thoughts and my prayers through a specific struggle with the specific subject of “How do I know for sure that I am saved?”
Regarding 1 John 5:11-12, still on page 41 – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” – I have a lot of very deep thoughts that flow through my heart and mind, that I cannot even type out right this moment. I may come back to this, when it can be processed clearly…
I just spent a whole page of typing on page 41 of Chapter Three alone, and I fear I may never reach the end if I don’t move on – still I have so many thoughts…
On page 44 the fact that through Adam sin and death came into the world and that through Jesus Christ salvation and life came into the world! O thank You Father for Jesus – our Rescue!!!! As I have studied the Scriptures inductively over the years, it has been such a delight to see the comparisons between Adam and Christ – I have found that a couple of hours of just meditating on these specific Scriptures bring immense joy to my soul that can last a lifetime! The contrast of the two is Amazing Grace over and over!!!
On page 45 I noted that sin is known disobedience to the clearly revealed will of God. How we love to muddy these waters…
On page 46 what stood out to me was the thought that God gave Adam, the first man, only one commandment, so only one transgression was possible for him…
From page 47 – 69 is one of the most complete studies of Scripture regarding our enemy and sin I have ever read through. I am so thankful for these pages. Knowing the tactics of the enemy of my soul, learning about him from his beginning to his soon end, gives me wisdom that is worth more than I could ever pay for! Understanding the implications of sin and how it has been passed from Adam to all mankind is huge!
On page 52 – 2nd paragraph: “undermining faith in God by malicious propaganda.” This is a trait of the enemy that we must always be watchful for. It can be so destructive, and truly living above reproach as God calls us to, prayer, and faith in God to keep the truth always prevailing is our only weapon in this battle.
I have so many thoughts on discontent and disorder – I would not know where to even begin. I think simply put, we must begin in our own home, to win this battle. A thought in the margin of page 53 from almost five years ago: If we are surrounded by disorder, we will quickly become discontent, and this will make our senses easily tempted by things of this world that may seem “so much better” than the disorder we are living in. This revelation was life-changing for me!
In reading through these pages, I was still struck by how the enemy’s schemes are still the same, yet we still fall for them! O LORD JESUS – we need wisdom! Give us wisdom and discernment for the times that we are living in and COME LORD JESUS COME – Take us Home to safety!
On pages 61, Ruth tells of sin in a way we should always keep in mind: 1) Sin is a fact; 2)Sin is a universal fact; 3) Every man is a sinner before he sins (our previous church actually taught that we were not actually sinners until we committed our first sin – this is how they justified that when infants die they go directly to Heaven) – However, the Bible does not teach this!
On page 65, I visualized the Cross of Jesus as the bridge that covered the gap that sin had caused between us and God. The relationship between a husband and wife I saw as the horizontal beam and their relationship with God was the vertical beam – Ruth called it “The Eden Crisis”. This is sobering to the bone.
On page 66, 2nd paragraph I had a thought: God tells us in the New Testament to judge ourselves lest we be judged publically by Him. It was the same in Eden. The man had the ability via his soul to judge if he would allow himself to be affected by the world or God. When he chose the world, he chose his own will instead of God’s will, thereby making God judge of him instead of keeping God as his Help. (God, in His holiness had to judge sin.) Page 67 says, “God’s holiness compelled Him to become a Judge, but His love compelled Him to become a Redeemer.” This is so huge for us to understand and to explain to our children!
On page 68 I wrote the “Consequences of sin”: Sweat, suffering, sorrow, separation from God, sacrifice of an animal – DEATH! Still God has Victory and so do we through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus our LORD!
I fell like there is so much to talk about in this chapter. But I also know that it is important to move on – there is still so much to be learned and learned again.
P.S. Have you noticed any sly tactics of the enemy to keep you from reading this book. Any lies, any deception, any confusion? Press on – I promise there is still so much that we absolutely need to learn and be reminded of.